description: 2006 dark bay Quarter Horse type gelding
type of rescue: Animal Control Surrender
intake date: 1/5/2018
adoption date: 10/13/2018
length of time with SAFE: 9 months
ADOPTED!! by Kasey O
Roscoe and his friend Teddi were seized by Animal Control and signed over to SAFE. Both horses were malnourished and thin, with severe rainrot. Roscoe came to us pretty thin, but he made a nice recovery and transformed into quite a handsome fella! Roscoe proved to be a nice horse under saddle, and several volunteer riders enjoyed working with him during his time at SAFE. Roscoe caught the eye and the heart of his adopter, and the two are enjoying trail riding adventures together.
When Roscoe and Teddi arrived at SAFE, they had been mistreated and uncared for quite some time. As they gained weight, the life returned to their eyes showing us that trust can be earned no matter how horrible the past has been. Roscoe had some sort of riding history but from what we could see there was not a lot of formal education. He accepted the saddle but was not a “push button” horse. We had a few people come out to try him but they were looking for something more finished…so he waited and waited some more until Kasey came out to meet him. She was committed to making sure it was the right match and agreed to come out for a second ride before we moved forward to adoption. She and her family fully embraced our philosophy that in order to make a lifetime commitment we have to take our time and make a match that is best for both the horse and adopter. By the second visit, we knew these two were meant for each other. Never will Roscoe be in danger of neglect again and Kasey has a gentleman who returns the love she shares with him. We are thrilled to announce that this adoption is final and Roscoe is HOME! Kasey emailed us a few days again and had this to share this about meeting Roscoe and falling in love:
“For years I have been waiting for the right time. The right time came, and I still waited many more months for the right horse. I have watched the horses at SAFE for years. I perused the adoptable horses one day (again) and came to an absolute stop when I saw Roscoe and read about him. I had that little voice in my heart saying, “this is the one”. I asked my husband what he thought and if he was truly ready for me to bring home a new riding horse (I have two older gals at home that I took in and gave their forever home even though I had NOT been looking for them, but they found me anyway and I love them dearly!). He said to go for it. I cried. It took a while to get it arranged, but we finally managed for me to come all the way up and meet Roscoe. A trip worth making a million times if you ask me.
I knew he was the one prior to coming up, but I left room for myself to be wrong. I also had an agreement with myself that I needed to make sure he also chose me. You see, I entered this search without an agenda…sure, I have a lot of riding disciplines I would love to go into, but I want a life riding partner that I can learn with. I wanted the right one. I wasn’t trying to find a horse to fit my agenda for a discipline I had in mind, but I was lucky enough to have the freedom to find the horse, and then find out what we were meant to do together.
I digress. Back to adopting Roscoe. Long story short, he chose me. I cried. He is my horse, I am his person. I have had him home now for a little over a month and we are quickly finding our “disciplines” and I couldn’t be happier. We are both learning so much, and we will continue to seek out training and help in order to grow to our potential and I cannot wait, but sure am enjoying the ride to get there! I’ve never had a connection to a horse like I do with Roscoe. Sometimes, it pays to wait and be patient and to put the horse and his needs first! Your horse will not fail to reward you if you do this!!
Adopting from SAFE has been an amazing experience. They take care of their horses, invest in their horses, get to know their horses…and they care about finding them the correct forever home, and I admire their commitment to the horse for the rest of his life. Very professional, very knowledgeable, very thorough. I will support SAFE as long as I can, and I will ALWAYS watch their horses first whenever considering another horse. You don’t just “buy a horse” when you adopt from SAFE, but you adopt a companion and heart investment from a place that sincerely cares and shares each horse for exactly who they are. There are no hidden agendas. They are honest and true, and as a result, I have an honest and true horse that I couldn’t be more thankful to have.
Sincerely, Kasey O”
A few days ago, we had a potential adopter come out to meet Roscoe. Roxanne is looking for her next equine partner and on the advice of a friend, she decided to check out SAFE. After reviewing her application and talking to her over the phone, it sounded like a few of our horses could be matches for her needs. Being a responsible horse owner, Roxanne knows the importance of not rushing into a decision on a new horse. She isn’t in a hurry to take just anything home and is wise to take her time to find her ideal partner. After meeting Roscoe, Roxanne offered to write up down some of her thoughts about trying out a SAFE horse and her insights on Roscoe’s level of training and personality. Here is what she had to say:
I met Roscoe from the perspective of a potential adopter and wanted to provide a little note on my experience with him to help him find his perfect home! This was my first time out to SAFE and my first-time meeting any of the horses that are available, and I was really impressed with the facility, employees, and the care and condition of all the horses.
I was greeted by Terry on my arrival, and after filling out a quick waiver we went to meet Roscoe! Upon entering his stall, I was immediately met by a sweet, interested little bay face, ready to be haltered. Roscoe stood tied in the arena with other horses with no problems while we groomed, picked up all his feet, brushed out his mane and tail, and touched my hands all over him to see if there were any sensitive areas. He was relaxed and friendly throughout the whole grooming and tacking process, and I even got a few nose wiggles when I found a good itchy spot on his withers. He isn’t girthy or sensitive at all and took the saddling process with no fuss.
We started out with some ground work, where I watched Terry work with him. It’s evident he’s had a good foundation here and was responsive to her cues. He quickly figured out what was being asked of him and had a good attitude about it. Terry worked him through some ground work exercises to loosen up his front and hind end, get him moving and engaged, and get his brain going. He walk, trot, and cantered on a long lead with minimal need for encouragement and did not pull away or try and rush. His up and down transitions were quick, he pays attention to his handler. He was interested in drifting out towards the arena gate while on the line (but what horse doesn’t!) but wasn’t rude and some light taps on the line kept him engaged. When we swapped over for me to work with him on the ground he was quiet, engaged, and quickly figured out what I was asking of him or made attempts to answer my ‘questions’ despite my cues being a little different from the ones he knows from his normal handlers. I was impressed with him and his attitude and had no concerns regarding his ground work. I felt confident moving to the next step of getting on him.
I watched Terry ride first, and she did a fantastic job explaining what activities and exercises she used with him and illustrated areas where he is typically a little stiffer or needs more encouragement to stretch and relax. She demonstrated all 3 gaits as well as a lot of walk work, bending, doing serpentines, and moving off the leg and rein. I hopped on him afterwards and found him to be light and uncomplicated to ride. As someone with a lifelong background in dressage and English riding some of my normal cues are different than the style Roscoe has been taught, but we had no problems under saddle figuring out our communication. He moves off the leg easily into a trot and canter and was responsive to aids when I asked him to turn and stop. He did tend to want to fall out a little towards the arena gate and drift, but leg and rein encouragement put him back on the circle with minimal effort. I was able to easily sit to both his trot and his canter without having to work at it, and he stayed in the gait once I placed him there, without rushing. He’s got a great stop and is light in the bridle and off the leg – we were able to make turns, ride circles, and do some serpentines at all 3 gaits. While not a “finished” horse, he has a great foundation and I felt safe, comfortable, and had a great time riding him. He felt like the kind of horse I could hop on after a long day and go for a long trail ride on without any worries! We spent a while at the end of our ride just parked watching another horse be worked, and he had no problems standing still and didn’t get antsy or try to wander away from where I had parked him.
Leading back to the barn Roscoe’s ground manners were great, and he pays attention to his handler. There were a few moments where he wanted to rush back to the barn a bit and get in front of me, but just by stopping walking, asking him to back up til he was even with me, and walking forward again corrected that easily. By the third time we did it, he immediately stopped when I did, and stayed next to me with slack in the lead the rest of the way. He doesn’t rush into the stall, waited for me to turn him around, and stood by the door with me while I took his halter off. He was really social and wanted to be close by — he was all about some face and ear scratches. He does want to creep into your personal space a bit, but not in a rude or aggressive way – he seemed to just expect that I should be petting him at all times 😉 I think he’s going to make someone a really lovely partner!
Roscoe is a nice gelding with great ground manners. He has been a champ on the trails and has learned to work well in the arena and respond to directions from legs, seat, and reins. We’re pretty sure that Roscoe was ridden in his past but probably never anything more than “get on and go” on the trails. He is not a push button horse, but he is getting better about lining out and staying on the rail or circle when working in the arena. He trailers, stands for the vet and farrier and is generally well behaved in turnout with other horses. We think he may have been a later cut stallion because he has a fairly strong personality…he’s not aggressive but he’s not submissive to herd mates. He is a bit herd bound, especially with mares, but can work out of it and responds to support from a handler to gain his attention. He has already show great improvement in this area. He successfully works alone in the arena, regains composure when other horses leave, and has been able to tie and stand quietly alone without other horses near him.
We took him over the weekend to his first show and he did very well. He settled in nicely in the new environment and worked well under saddle, on the trail obstacle course, and in halter and rail classes. He did show some signs of aggression towards new horses he did not know but his handler was able to keep his attention and correct him if he gave a bad expression to a passing horse. It was manageable but full disclosure, it’s something he still needs to work.
We really like Roscoe —- he has a genuinely sweet disposition. He will require at least an intermediate handler when introduced to new places and horses but in a comfortable, familiar environment, he is very trustworthy. He can be a bit pushy, trying to lead you and walk ahead, but he’s easily corrected and once he knows his place he is respectful.
His only physical fault is a toed-in front left hoof. We suggest working him in boots or putting front shoes on him, as he is starting to wear out the outside of his toe. He has been sound without issues. With the work we’ve been doing, he is gaining strength. By freeing up his feet, his movement has become forward and he is becoming more responsive and less reactive. He is a brave horse and if he sees something new, he is smart about it and trusts his rider to keep him safe. He leads, follows and, with a strong partnership, would probably go out on a trail alone with his rider.
Volunteer rider Lisa G rode Roscoe in last month’s Joel Conner clinic and had this to report:
I worked with Roscoe in the riding portion of the recent Joel Connor Clinic, and we made much progress.…. and found many things to continue to work on! Roscoe has always had a hard time moving his forequarters around and engaging his hind end, so we focused a lot on this; getting a smooth rhythm going while transitioning from moving the hindquarters to moving the front quarters under saddle. Roscoe did well carrying a soft feel at the walk and trot, and showed improvement in his engagement, carrying it briefly in the canter. We worked quite a bit on Trot-to-Canter transitions, carrying the canter (not falling out of it), and staying in the correct lead at the Trot for successful transitions. For my part, I tried to be clear, consistent, and punctual in my cues so that our combined finesse may improve; there is still room to grow, but overall, Roscoe did very well in the clinic and, as much as he may have gotten from the weekend, I think I got much more- and not just from Joel! Roscoe helped clarify some details of the work to me, is helping me with my timing and finesse, and is walking, trotting proof of a horse with a huge amount of heart and try.
A nice update from volunteer rider Lisa G about Teddi and Roscoe:
Teddi is improving greatly in her groundwork. I slowed down and let go of my timeline expectations for her after the March clinic, and lifting that unconscious pressure has really helped our progress! There were several days that I simply didn’t have time to get into anything too troublesome (and therefore help her out of her trouble spots), so we spent several sessions working on Super Basics: being caught, lowering her head, leading, releasing forward instead of bracing back, and sometimes just getting groomed with extra mane scritches. When I did get back into my scheduling groove and revisit groundwork and the flag, Teddi was much more willing to search for an answer that differed from her “freeze and hope it goes away” and “squirt around sideways as fast as possible!” go-to’s. She is still troubled by the flag but is quick to calm down and move her feet after a couple initial boot-scoots, she is softer and more punctual in giving to lead pressure, and she straight-tied BRILLIANTLY this week! I so love this sweet little mare!!
Roscoe: The first few times I rode Roscoe in the arena a couple weeks after he was re-started in the March clinic, this guy was GA-LUED to the gate. I mean, I would ask him to walk forward on a right track, bend in a one-rein stop, and he would hold a 90° bend to the right while falling sideways to the left, toward the gate. There were a couple of times that I fully expected us to crash and burn… and this was at the WALK! Ride #1 we got a quarter of the arena length away, stood quietly, and called it a day. After that, I basically offered him this choice: “you can face or move toward the gate if you insist, but you’re going to have to WORK… or you can face AWAY from the gate and get a break.” MOVING away from the gate got a break and pets and praise. He caught on quick! He still tends to bow toward the center when we are moving away from the gate, but now I offer him a lively inside leg backed by an outside rein, and if he still blows through my aids (less and less!), we get to WORK!! We are working on soft feel at the stop and walk, and he is getting more and more responsive to my seat, requiring less leg all the time. It’s like once he figured out that first step away from the gate on day one was ALL I WANTED on day one, he’s been more and more willing to try. Roscoe was SO bull-headed at first, I really didn’t think he’d be so willing to change so fast after however-many-years of having to push through everyone and everything to protect himself. I am SO IMPRESSED by this big guy’s heart! 😊❤
Volunteer rider Lisa G has been working with Roscoe and Teddi on the ground, preparing them for Joel Conner’s visit on March 15. Lisa is using the flag and the coiled rope to help them get more comfortable being touched and moved about. Here are her reports on their progress:
Roscoe and Teddi both did great this morning! Got the coils all over Roscoe, he was a little nervous at first, but settled right down. threw an open loop over his back, and only had one butt-tuck-Boot-Scootin-Boogie moment when the end went under his belly and wrapped in between his back legs… But he settled down through that too, and the next few times it happened, it was totally fine. I’ll work more on those and getting it around his girth area on Monday. Teddi got settled to be able to do lots of C shapes with brushes of the flag and lots of hindquarter yield with the flag nonchalantly coming into the shoulder and back out. With the CRAZY wind, they both worked in the covered arena and did well in the new space. Good ponies!
Another great day with these two! Got the rope all over Roscoe, backed him into the loop, was fine with it around his girth area and flanks. Even moved his front across with the loop around his girth! Only had one little moment of squirting forward, when I dropped the rope off of his rump for the first time, and it was around his hocks. Each time after that he was fine. Still a little uncertain about the coils on his bum, but settles into it just fine. Teddi did great with the flag, still started with it way far away, then coming into her shoulder, then c Shape/ squeeze exercise… But ended the day with several circles and hindquarter yields with the flag coming in nonchalantly to touch her shoulder and back. Lots and lots of licks and chews!
Roscoe: saddled last night in the indoor, worked on the line, did fine. Turned him loose (saddled) in the round pen today, worked until he moved off calmly and kept him moving through his, “we’re done, mmmm-kay?!” turn-in moments until he was listening to my feel. Almost fell on his face a couple of times, picking up the trot.… but not his feet!! … and tripping himself LOL! He obviously needs lots of balance and hind end strengthening work. Other than that, he did great… He did knock me over when I was grooming him, brushing his front leg. Something spooked him, and he shouldered me over, then immediately jumped back away from me. Totally not his fault, not my fault, just a freak thing… But we do need to work on him keeping out of our space, on the line and when he is coming into the center at Liberty. He’s a creeper! 😝😂❤
Teddi is coming along great! Loads loads better with the flag, can’t wait to hear what you think when you work her tomorrow. Today got to a point where she was doing C shapes, accepting the flag flipping over her back at the withers, coming into the shoulders, brushing over her bum, and coming into the chest, all calmly– including changing eyes and moving her front across. We got going calmly both ways a couple of times and I stopped. I really really like this little mare! 🤓
After 15 days at SAFE, here is Roscoe. Photos by Jessica Farren.
Teddi and Roscoe arrived at SAFE in mid January, after being in Animal Control custody for three weeks. When they came to SAFE, we were asked by Animal Control to keep quiet about them because of the legal case against their former owner. Both horses were quarantined here for three weeks to protect them as well as the other horses here at SAFE. They were treated for rain rot, dusted for lice, fecal tested, and examined by our vet. When they arrived, Roscoe in particular was still very thin, but they are bouncing back with a steady diet of hay, grain, and supplements. Here are the pictures taken not long after their arrival at SAFE: